The US Department of the Treasury announced this week that in order to speed up the process for distribution of the Economic Impact Payments (EIP) to the population some four million individuals will be receiving prepaid debit cards instead of the paper check they may have been expecting.

Stopping short of simply stuffing cash in envelopes the Treasury has teamed up with its financial agent, Metabank, to produce the cards which it will begin to send out this week. The millions in line for the cards are those who both don’t have bank information on file with the IRS and also would have had their tax returns processed by Austin or Andover IRS service centers.

Those who do receive the cards should also receive instructions on how to activate and use them. The Treasury is at pains to alleviate concerns about security and ease of use as can be seen in the press release here: